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Sources of Federal United States Law

This guide was designed for use by non-U.S. law students at UCONN Law School.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias




Bill Summaries & Status



   For hearings see House Links and Senate Links for videos and/or schedules or look at individual committees after clicking on Committees tab

For hearings 1824-present, click on Congressional Publications, then Advanced Search and make sure Hearings box is checked.

Reports & Documents

Click on Congressional Publications, then Advanced Search and make sure the appropriate boxes are checked. Look here for the reports and other publications coming out of the committees with respect to bills and other Congressional business.  Note differing start dates for different material.


Here is where you find official copies of texts of the Bills and Resolutions of Congress before enactment going back to 1973. You can also do full-text searches back to 1989 and find the status of Bills here.  See also links to Public Laws and to U.S. Code for those that have been enacted.

Click on Find in Library for print copies at KF50.U5

Compiled Legislative Histories

  • Look for a published legislative history for a particular Public Act; some are official compilations ordered by Congress, others are unofficial.  The following databases can be very helpful:

Click on "search for legislative histories" to find compiled histories since 1969

You can find specific print and electronic legislative histories in the catalog.

 Look here for an unofficial text of a Public Act and information about the legislative history such as citations to key Congressional debates, hearings and reports.


Has links to official sites for U.S. Code and other federal materials.


  • Of course, Lexis Advance Westlaw & Bloomberg Law (subscription databases - need ID) have extensive Federal Legislative libraries. Take time to familiarize yourselves with what is available on each of them.